Research Interests and Areas of Expertise: Broadly speaking I am interested in examining the ways in which people and places in the North and the South are connected (or not) through understandings and practices of development. I explore this interest through a few different areas:
In my current work I look at the ways in which everyday acts of 'ethical' consumption in the North are connected to environmental projects and development interventions in the South. I do this through a study of cause-related marketing (CRM) initiatives (e.g. where the purchase of bottled water triggers a 5-cent corporate donation to a development organization to build wells in Africa). I explore how tying development to consumption through CRM influences the ways that distant people and natures are framed and understood. I argue that this has significant implications for how development is practiced.
2. How far can we care?
I am interested in examining how development organizations encourage individuals in North America to care about distant people and places through the use of marketing techniques and stories. I aim to explore how this 'ethics of care' is framed by organizations, how the public interprets it and how it constructs certain understandings of what development means and how someone in North America may engage in it.
3. Nature and the politics of climate change:
I am interested in the proposed solutions to climate change that involve individual sustainable consumption choices, neoliberal conservation strategies and mechanisms that commodify nature. I aim to examine the intersection of these processes and the ways in which development practices play out within these intersections.
4. Gender and the environment:
I continue to have an interest in studying the gendered aspects of environmental roles, responsibilities and rights. In particular I?m interested in gender and water management and the gendered discourses around sustainable consumption. I am inspired by feminist theory to examine environmental issues from the scale of the body and the everyday.